7 Strategies for Managing Stress at Work
Whether it’s an impending deadline or a cranky co-worker, stressors are common in the workplace. But if you don’t know how to cope with them, they can wreak havoc on much more than your productivity at work.
A recent Be Well seminar, hosted by the Office of Human Resources, focused on providing Georgia Tech faculty and staff with strategies to manage stress at work.
According to the interactive presentation, which featured members of Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program (learn more at www.etpga.org), symptoms of stress include muscle tension, insomnia, upset stomach, headaches, sadness, and increased blood pressure.
And if you don’t deal with stress, it can lead to depression and can aggravate existing health conditions including diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and asthma.
Through the skits, which highlighted various stressful work situations, the Kaiser team shared the following strategies for keeping stress under control:
- Don’t keep it bottled up inside.
- Work smarter, not harder. For example, if you’re crunched for time, and faxing a form will work just as well as hand-delivering it — fax it.
- Set realistic expectations. If someone is asking you for help, don’t say you’ll get back to them in five minutes if it’s really going to take you an hour. Remember that it’s also OK to say “no.”
- Embrace progress, not perfection. See mistakes as an opportunity to grow.
- Communicate. The earlier you can communicate, for example, needing time off from work or a certain number of copies for a meeting, the better.
- Reframe. Step back and take a deep breath. Deal with your stressors, but don’t just have a ranting vent session. Change the way you look at situations so that you’re not just getting frustrated and seeing the negative.
- Do something you enjoy. Get involved with activities that are physically, intellectually, and/or spiritually engaging and don’t involve the pressure of competition or accountability.
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